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Poster: Anamon Date: Sep 27, 2011 9:15pm
Forum: web Subject: Re: Please delete file

There seems to be the core of the misunderstanding. If the CC license you chose to release your material under included the NC clause, then that would prohibit others from exploiting or redistributing your work for profit. It still does allow free copying and redistribution for personal, non-commercial purposes though.

If this was what you had in mind, you chose the right license. If people got the materials you published from the IA and sold them for profit, then they did indeed breach the contract. The IA would not be at fault in that case, but of course it is immensely difficult and expensive, if not impossible, to track down and hold responsible people who disregarded your licensing conditions in bad faith.

What you must keep in mind though is that the license for non-commercial distribution you gave is irrevocable. That's one of the basic principles of fairness and "re-balancing" (as opposed to traditional copyright law) that Creative Commons offers: it protects not only the rights of the publishers but also the audience, meaning that someone who downloaded and used CC materials according to the license is not in danger of suddenly having that license revoked because the publisher changed their mind.

What this means in your case, if I understood your situation correctly, is that while the materials have been removed from the IA, people who have already downloaded the files under the CC license still have all the rights associated with it. Namely, they are allowed to redistribute the materials on any other site (as long as they respect any clauses such as attribution or no commercial exploitation) where they would again be available also to people who intend to violate the contract.

In any case though, while the alternative of traditional copyrights would give you more control by eliminating those intermediaries (who act completely legally and in good faith), the problem is inherent with digital publication. In the world of digital publication, the added control of copyright over CC is a rather questionable point since it is still not viable or possible to prevent violations.

Edit: to clarify, you are of course in the right to demand that people respect the clauses of the CC license you chose. You can also request the Internet Archive to take down your materials again, but they would have no obligation to do so. With the CC license you gave an irrevocable right to redistribution, which the Internet Archive could have cited to deny your request. That's important to know whenever you apply a CC license. It's what I mentioned above, it protects licensees such as the IA itself, or people who have used your materials adhering to the licensing conditions, from suddenly receiving a request that they stop using the material, and possibly being sued if they don't comply. This does not require material to be released into the Public Domain. People who download your material are bound to the licensing conditions at the time they "sign" that contract, and due to the redistributable nature of CC materials, withdrawing is conceptually impossible.

This post was modified by Anamon on 2011-09-28 04:15:58